Anna Mintz is a Publicist for Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, and is an editor for The Recipe Club. Originally from Atlanta, she now lives in New York City and loves exploring NYC’s restaurant scene and trying out new recipes in her own kitchen.
This past weekend, I spent Labor Day at the beach with my extended family in Litchfield Beach, South Carolina. My mother’s side of the family has been spending summers there for over 50 years, so it’s a much-loved tradition for us. While we always enjoy eating out and going to local restaurants for fresh seafood, it’s also so much fun to have a cookout by the pool on a warm summer night. This past weekend, we decided to cap off our beach vacation with a Labor Day barbecue extravaganza!
Everyone pitched in to make a delicious meal, and I knew exactly what I wanted to contribute: Lobster & Shells from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? (Clarkson Potter, 2010) By Ina Garten. Is there anything that says “summer” more than fresh corn and seafood? I don’t think so!
This awesome pasta salad came together really quickly. First, I started cooking the small pasta shells. While the pasta cooked, I sliced up an orange bell pepper, 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, and 6 scallions. Then, I cut the lobster into medium chunks and added the fresh corn to the boiling pasta water for the just last two minutes of cook time, so the kernels were cooked, but still had a nice crunch. After adding all of these ingredients to the bowl of drained pasta and corn, I whipped up the dressing of sour cream, mayo, lots of lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
Once everything was mixed, I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors combine and develop. That evening, as my dad fired up the grill for barbecue shrimp, ribs, hot dogs, and sausages, everyone brought their cookout contributions to the pool area, and we had quite the feast! We filled our plates with baked beans, coleslaw, ribs, shrimp, caprese salad, and of course, my pasta salad. Everything tasted great, but I have to say that my favorite was the Lobster & Shells dish. The tangy and lemony dressing brought out the flavor of the lobster, and the corn and tomatoes were so fresh that they really made the dish a star! Best of all, we had some leftovers for lunch the next day, and it might have been even better than the night before.
Lobster & Shells
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? By Ina Garten
Good olive oil
½ pound small pasta shells, such as Ronzoni
Kernels from 4 ears of corn (about 3 cups)
6 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and small-diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 pound cooked fresh lobster meat, medium-diced
¾ cup good mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
Freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup minced fresh dill
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt and some olive oil. Add the pasta and cook it for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Add the corn to the pasta and cook it for another 2 minutes, until the corn is tender. Drain the pasta and corn together in a colander and pour them into a large mixing bowl. Add the scallions, diced pepper, tomatoes, and lobster, tossing gently to combine. Allow to cool slightly.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Pour over the pasta and mix well to bind the ingredients. Stir in the dill, 4 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for up to 6 hours to allow the flavors to develop. Check the seasonings and serve chilled or at room temperature.